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Leek Polenta with Roasted Chanterelle Mushrooms

It started raining late Saturday night. There is a feeling that comes over me when the first real rain of the season arrives. It wakes me from my warm weather slumber and as I hit the cold, damp air, I become alive.

In Northern California, fall comes late. I pine for blustery days with their stormy, gusty winds that blow wild and turbulent. When they finally come I am at peace. My soul fills and I rise up. And I run to the kitchen full of enthusiasm, ready to make the hearty winter fare that it has been for months, too substantial to eat.


leek polenta


I realize I am a bit odd. I realize that most people find their beauty in warm, sunny days with brilliant blue skies. But for me, the sunshine and the colors it alights can be loud, almost jarring at times. The grey muted colors of fall and winter, the heavy blankets of fog or snow, they bring a quiet peacefulness that I love.


leek polenta


This Leek Polenta with Thyme, Roasted Mushrooms and a Savory Cheezy Cashew Sauce is the perfect recipe for cold fall nights. Roast your mushrooms ahead of time and this dish will come together quickly.

The cheezy cashew sauce is stirred into the polenta along with the thyme and leeks at the end of cooking. The addition of the sauce turns regular polenta into a rich, flavorful dish. The added mushrooms bring a hearty, filling, flavor-filled bite to the dish. You can substitute your favorite mushrooms if you can’t get Chanterelles but they are in season right now and are delicious!


Chanterelle Tips

  • When choosing chanterelles, look for golden color with no slimy, dark or decaying parts.
  • To clean chanterelles, first use a brush to remove all the debris. You can actually use a toothbrush for this.
  • You can then rinse them quickly to remove sand and the rest of the debris.
  • Don’t let them soak in water.
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  1. Lally wrote on January 11, 2016

    Susan, this recipe sounds just amazing, it will be part of meny this coming weekend for sure when I will have company, thank you for posting it.

  2. Kerry Marshall-Ryan wrote on November 24, 2015

    Hi Susan,
    I just made this tonight……yummy. I used ALL the ‘Cheeze’ sauce in the polenta. I didn’t have Chanterelle mushrooms either so simply used our common large button mushrooms – they were fine! It was great!
    Thank You!!


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